Initial Interview


(This is the first in a series of short articles, interviewing folks at Alternative Behavior Strategies. Many parents’ first direct contact with ABS comes via calling our office (801 935-4171) and talking with Anna Morales, our office administrator. NOTE: Since the time of this interview, Anna has become our Executive Office Adminstrator and Tara Wackerly is our new Office Administrator.

In the articles, Sarah and Charlie are at their wit’s end with Mark, their 3 year old son, and the imaginary conversation below is from their first call to ABS, in this case with Anna.)

Anna at front desk

So, how do we get started?
You begin with an hour complementary consultation with one of our clinical directors, Jeff Skibitsky or Joe Dixon. They will talk with you about what behaviors you want to see addressed, what goals you have as a family, and how you would like to progress.Next, we do a 6 hour clinical assessment during which we

  • Observe your child
  • Interview parents
  • Collect information (in questionnaires)

This will help us to determine the recommended clinical hours necessary to be given to your child to meet your goals. You review this report and see if it is doable within your budget. If so, then we proceed, working with you to find out what works for you.It all varies greatly since each child and family is unique and so the treatment plan must be specialized for your needs.

(got rather emotional and so Anna needed to encourage her):
It may seem overwhelming right now but once you see how things are implemented, it is much easier to see a light, much easier to see where the progress is coming from, and how to gain instructional control with your child. Mark’s only three..early intervention is great (our interventions range with children from 2 to 10 years old).
How will this work, day to day?
Every child is unique and a few of our families (10%) focus on parent training. However, even when our staff is providing extensive intervention (from 10 to 30 hours a week), you and Charlie are part of the team and will have access to our secure systems to access both treatment calendar info and observed data showing how the treatment is progressing. You will be able to constantly see what goals they are working on and how Mark is progressing. The interventionist runs the program and collects data about your child’s objective progress and the consultant determines the treatment plan, supervises the interventionist, analyses the data, and modifies the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) based treatment plan as needed depending on what is working and what is not working for you as a family.

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